“To maintain teaching and learning activities is a top priority for the university management”
There will be no more classroom teaching at the University of Basel until the end of the spring semester 2020. In an interview, President Andrea Schenker-Wicki explains how the University of Basel is adapting to this situation.
Professor Schenker-Wicki, the University of Basel will suspend all classroom teaching until the end of the semester – what is the purpose of this measure?
This measure follows the instructions of the Swiss Federal Council and aims to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. I view it as the university’s contribution to protecting the population in Switzerland.
What does this mean for the students?
For the students, this constitutes a major change in circumstances: teaching will be switched to digital platforms as far as possible, and direct exchange with other students will be restricted. This will now require a great deal of self-discipline to acquire the learning content.
Classes are suspended, but at the end of the semester many exams are due – how can this work?
We are very aware that the situation is a great challenge for the students, and this also applies to the lecturers and the faculties. To maintain teaching and learning activities is a top priority for the university management. We will do everything in our power to ensure that studyability is guaranteed and that students can take their exams as planned so that they can complete their studies or continue them next semester.
How should the employees behave?
We have made provision for employees to work from home wherever possible and in consultation with their superiors. This way, we want to help them to protect themselves and others, because they will not have to use public transport. This is also a guideline recommended by experts and the national government.
How strongly do you see the university challenged by the coronavirus crisis?
The university is a large institution with 5700 employees and 13,000 students. We bear great responsibility and are all very much challenged to manage this extraordinary situation as best we can. These are special times, but if we support each other, we will succeed.
Information about the new coronavirus
The Corona website of the University of Basel provides specific information for students, lecturers and staff.